- Charles Stanley
This past July, I was given the opportunity to attend the seven day long overnight hiking trip to Mt. Kathadin. The trip was to be comprised of eight people, two counselors and six campers. It was an honor to be selected for this trip, considering there were dozens of people who very much wanted to go as well. The trip required about two weeks of preparation. We had to pack our food supply for the entire week, and we had to cook breakfast and dinner, and for lunch we would snack on trail food we had prepared. We had to properly ration the trail snacks in order to last the entire week, or else we would go hungry. We decided that a trail mix like blend of oats and fruit would be a good choice, considering that it would be nourishing and energizing. However we could not simply pack fruit as it were, or else it would eventually rot and become moldy. So, we came up with the solution of dehydrating the fruit, which would making both resting to rot and a whole lot lighter. Luckily enough, our camp had a fruit dehydrator which we used. It was a lengthy process, but a useful one none the less. In addition we had to make menus for the trip, and we couldn't use meat in fear of bears raiding our supply in the night. And so we lived off of an entirely vegetarian diet for a week; all of which we cooked with incredibly limited resources consisting a an incredibly unpredictable more-less makeshift propane stove called a whisper light, which broke down several times throughout the trip, and which one night resulted in us not eating at all. Our day usually went something like this: we wake up at around 6:30, cooked breakfast, hiked about 10 miles, arrived at our campsite, and cook dinner and then finally go to sleep.
One of my most memorable expiriences on this trip was hiking the knife edge. Just after the actual summit of Mt. Kathadin itself, is a one and a half mile long trail that is infamous for its fear provoking and threat of danger. It's called the knife edge for a reason. It does resemble a giant knife, with a three foot wide path, and incredibly steep cliffs surrounding you with drops of thousands of feet. At one point, you literally had to scale 6 foot natural rock walls. It was utterly nerve wracking. At times, I felt like giving up and turning back, but I persevered and made my way through it. And in the end, it was an incredible growing experience.
Never surrender when in the face of danger.